Nordic people and plants
Nordic People and Plants is a research project funded by the SAMKUL program of the Research Council of Norway that will investigate the development of Nordic biodiversity through human interference from the Viking age until today. The project aims to rediscover plant traditions, explain the origins of plant diversity, and safeguard Nordic ethnobotanical diversity for the future. People have always been dependent on plants such as food, fodder, medicine, clothing, tools and building materials. Throughout history, plants have influenced how people build, dress, and cure diseases. People have influenced biodiversity through cultivating and introducing new plant species, but they have also caused plants to go extinct. Currently, a decrease in plant diversity world-wide threatens humans well-being and ecosystems. Compared with other areas, Scandinavia has a limited number of threatened plants, and humans living here maintain a close relationship with nature and plants. Scandinavia is therefore an ideal place for studying former and contemporary dynamics between people and plants. In this project, plant names, archaeobotanical sources, iconographical sources and textual descriptions will be systematised and analysed. The project additionally introduces a participatory citizen science approach, to increase plant knowledge among people in general. The project is based on close collaboration between the humanities and natural sciences. This cooperation will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of human relationships with plants and contribute to safeguarding Nordic plant traditions for the future.
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